Paper Clips Brought Me to You

June 27th, 2007 § 16

Paper ClipYou know how some people collect paper clips they find lying around? I seriously tried it. I walked around the mall, along Ortigas Center, and all the way back home just to get one (just one!!) paper clip sighting so I have something to say about my paper clip experience (or, now, the lack thereof).

And I kind of made it a point to go out of the office as I didn’t want to consider it a valid place to have an extraordinary paper clip encounter. You see, I have a box of paper clips on my drawer, some on my folders, a couple hanging by my cork board, and I’m sure there’s a pink one somewhere in Camille‘s jungle of a desk too — in short, one is more likely to see a paper clip lying around in an office than not. I wonder how Markku and Nikki just find paper clips lying around — along the side of the road, in a park bench, etc? It’s even more interesting how Nikki finds one all the time, anywhere she goes! (Gaah. Maybe if I stop trying, if I stop looking, I’ll find one. When that happens, I’ll let you guys know.)

Amazingly, albeit my failure to find a wandering paper clip, this experience has virtually brought me to places, and people, and ideas (and dreams) I never thought possible. One thing that surfaced in this paper clip project is that, what paper clips are for different people has gone beyond what they were originally made for and what their very name implies (you know, to clip papers together). Simply put, paper clips have become more than just, well, paper clips. There’s the manly habit of using paper clips as tooth pick, cotton buds, or something to pick your nose with (come on guys, couldn’t you be any more disgusting? LOL). There’s the rare fashion of using paper clips to adorn the hair. There’s the usual OC method of organizing files with color-coded paper clips.

And then there are those whose lives were changed because of one paper clip. There’s this guy who started with one red paper clip, which he traded until he ended with a house in Canada. And there’s this Filipina who wrote a story about a yellow paper clip with bright purple spots, which ended being published, and eventually became an award-winning children’s story book.

Paper clips mean a lot of things to a lot of people. And if we would spread our imagination, there’s more to paper clips than meets the eye.

Prior to this, I didn’t have any extraordinary paper clip experience. I don’t collect paper clips like Nikki or Markku. I don’t have a bad childhood memory that has to do with paper clips like Mikey or Ade. I don’t know how to make hearts out of them like Tina. I do remember that Maid in Manhattan movie and the little paper clip moment the little kid and the man had, but unlike Mae, I never once tried if it would work for me. And I definitely WON’T use paper clips for the purpose of personal hygiene, ok, TJ and Jake? (You have jobs! Buy cotton buds will you?!)

Perhaps I just didn’t have any reason to sensationalize what paper clips are for until now.

It’s true what they say.. there’s always something extraordinary about the ordinary, in the same way you find beauty in the most trivial of things. You ignore the fact that you share the world with billions of paper clips, until this one point in your life when it created for you a way to reconnect with an old friend. Which in turn became an excuse to connect with all sorts of people: People who use paper clips to take wax off their ears. People who have traumatic experiences with paper clips. People who collect paper clips, and use them to define moments.

Now, I have every reason to see paper clips in a different light. This could be it, my paper clip story preserved in a blog forever. It may not be as grand as Nikki’s, or Oneredpaperclip’s, but who knows, this could be, for me, the beginning of something else. I’m excited to find out.

Hey David, your turn. ;)

Here’s more link love to the rest of you who commented and shared their thoughts on paper clips: ♥Joni♥, Jun, Jayvee, Rob, Romz. Merci. ♥

Edit. A bit too late but here’s the challenge: I blog about it, he makes a song. (I know there’s something not fair about that, LOL.) For what it’s worth, he “won” the dare because I missed deadline, but really now, I’m confused. (Why did you win again? We both missed deadline, didn’t we?) Anyway. Here’s his song which you can also find here.

And think when trials come
Like heavy weights they press you down
At times it seems it never ends
Just bend along and change again
to gather all life’s sheets again
And remember there is strength in you inside
Like paperclips we hold life’s one big bind
One big bind.

Paperclips by David Oyos © July 2007

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